By Daniel Coats, California Business Journal
While serving as president of a major Beverly Hills real estate brokerage, Sharran Srivatsaa saw first-hand how hardworking agents are overburdened with marketing, deal negotiation and research tasks that take them away from what they do best: serving as advisors to consumers who are making the largest purchases of their lives.
“I realized the catalyst for delivering value in the industry is real estate agents, but they are bombarded with so much to do, such as showing homes, negotiating a deal or ordering marketing,” he says. “I wanted to take away the complexity so that agents can focus on being advisors.”
Enter Kingston Lane, a novel integrated platform that Srivatsaa created that gives agents access to push-button navigation on home valuation, agent branding, digital farming, advertising, lead management, social media and email marketing, buyer and seller databases, and exclusive property websites. By acting as a “push-button solution” for today’s real estate professionals, the platform provides a holistic connection to cutting-edge data and tools that have long been the envy of even the most successful practitioners.
Though Srivatsaa recognizes the challenge of disparate regulations that govern real estate transactions internationally and across U.S. states, he has identified the commonalities that every real estate agent needs and focused his startup on delivering efficient solutions in these areas.
“Wherever you are in the world, you need beautiful elegant websites. You can use social media tools to do targeting and ads. You need physical marketing pieces to build your business. These are some of the common building blocks,” he says.
Across all jurisdictions, agents must complete licensing and education and use a digital signature platform. Srivatsaa believes that Kingston Lane has the potential to become the third step in this service delivery system. “Agents around the world are all small business owners. They run their business under the umbrella of a brand, but the relationship they have is with their clients,” he says. “Our goal is to make Kingston Lane the must-have simple execution platform for every agent around the world.”
Srivatsaa just soft-launched Kingston Lane in Canada. The platform will debut for Australian and European consumers over the next several months, with nation-specific interfaces to enable personalization. In its first month, the concept has drawn the attention of agents across the United States, Asia, Europe and the Central American nation of Belize.
Transformation of an Agent’s Role
As all industries are impacted by technology, Srivatsaa believes that real estate will continue to retain the essential human dimension, but that the responsibilities of an agent will change. He anticipates this future by preparing agents to be advisory specialists through the Kingstone Lane platform.
With more than two decades of professional experience encompassing computer science, investment banking, the hospitality industry and real estate, Srivatsaa’s diverse background provides a well-rounded perspective that is in line with the dynamics that are moving the field forward.
“If you’re shopping for a car, you shop for it online, but you still go into a brick-and-mortar business to complete the deal, because it is difficult to deliver it completely online. And cars are a fraction of the cost of a home, which for many families is the most expensive asset they own,” he says. “Our central premise is that agents will continue to be representatives and advisors to clients, but their role will completely change. They will be a strategic relationship manager, in which they are the interface for the client, the go-to agent who executes everything on their behalf. Using that premise, the agent will use all of the tools of technology that the average consumer doesn’t need to know.”
Despite technological and economic changes, Srivatsaa is confident that real estate will remain an integral part of the equation of economic well-being, both in the U.S. and globally, due to the strategic importance of this function. “Whether it is renting or buying a home, where you live is at the epicenter of all that you do, whether it is as a consumer, raising your family or being involved in your community,” he says.
In addition to spearheading his entrepreneurial ventures, Srivatsaa is also an inspirational and motivational thought leader, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Success and Forbes.
He wants others to recognize the unprecedented opportunities available to everyone in our interconnected and tech-rich times. “I am a big believer in entrepreneurship driving economies and my biggest reason for contributing is to figure out how to inspire those who want to create value,” he says. “You don’t have to quit your day job, you don’t have to build a big company or raise venture capital. You and I can impact the world in so many ways.”
Giving back for the support of mentors and furthering their legacy is also integral to Srivatsaa’s motivation. “I am a young immigrant kid who had nothing when I came to the United States and I have been fortunate to create a great life for myself and my family. So many other people can do that as well. Small little strategic steps can create gigantic results in today’s marketplace,” he says.
One of Srivatsaa’s most unique impacts is the 5 A.M. Club, a daily five-minute inspirational call, which began in the most unlikely of circumstances. “Several years ago, my doctors advised me to wake up earlier to improve my health, so I established a daily early morning call with three of my friends to provide accountability,” he says. “Today, over 2,000 people, many of them entrepreneurs and business leaders, are on that call. It is a chance to share and inspire. Small actions every single day lead to huge results and I plan to continue to do this for the rest of my life.”
Among the quotes that Srivatsaa finds particularly impactful are “how can we create a bigger and better future?” and “your eyes only see and your ears only hear what you are looking for.” It is through this desire to create a better future while maintaining a singularity of focus that Srivatsaa thrives, whether professionally or with others.
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